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Old 07-31-2021, 11:49 PM   #1
Soldier of Macedon
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Default The Balkan "Mini-Schengen"

Some are suggesting that Macedonia has the most to gain from this arrangement. We'll see. A skeptical perspective could lead one to see this little project as facilitating the competing "greater" aspirations of Serbia and Albania, in which case, Macedonia will most definitely be the loser. Greater economic cooperation between Balkan countries is only a good thing so long as it doesn't come at the cost of sovereignty. Improvement around regulations, tariffs, and movement of goods can be conducive to increased regional trade but the part about free movement of people across borders raises some serious concerns and would need to be limited and closely monitored, particularly given the other parties and potential future parties to this agreement. If done right, this could be of some benefit, but the legitimate fear is that the northadonians will offer up Macedonia as a whore once again. Besides, this initiative is considered a mere stepping stone towards the EU rather than a more independent policy. And, contrary to a viable alternative, entry into the EU does come at the cost of sovereignty.
Quote:
https://mkdenes.mk/post4204/

(Translation) 29 July 2021 - From January 2023, there will be no borders between Macedonia, Serbia and Albania and the movement of foreigners and travellers will be free. In Skopje, the Prime Minister of Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, and the President of the Republic of Serbia, Alexander Vucic, came to an agreement at the Economic Forum taking place today. These countries will work on the realization of this idea, which will clear the way for people, but also for goods and services, said the Serbian president, Alexander Vucic. Zaev said the goal of the work with Rama and Vucic is an integrated regional market, which will bring additional growth to the GDP in the region. "We cannot wait for all the internal problems of the European Union to go away in order to move forward. When the European Union will be ready, we will be here, already prepared, with already provided healings for our citizens and for many years to come. But I am not here today to talk about the European Union. I am here to speak for our citizens, for our countries, for our ideas, for our European Balkans. Together, we are giving a new impetus to our common economic space, to the connected regional market. Our region has approximately 18 million people, and that is a very large amount of capital to strengthen our economies," Zaev said.
Quote:
https://infomax.mk/wp/%d1%9c%d0%b5-%...7eaIhWWZfjs_MY

(Translation) 30 July 21 - President Pendarovski said at a press briefing that the Small Schengen initiative is great, he expects Bosnia, Montenegro and Kosovo to join, he does not know why they have not joined so far. Vucic called on Kosovo to join at Brdo-Brijuni. Djukanovic does not mind, but the Montenegrin government has to decide. It is not good only if a small Schengen is considered as an alternative to the EU. There are such examples as the Baltic Council, the Visegrad Group, Scandinavia. Schengen is an excellent preparation of the EU, said Pendarovski.
Quote:
https://mkdenes.mk/post4267/

(Translation) 31 July 21 - Zoran Zaev lied to the citizens. He promised them a European Macedonia, and now he offers Mini Schengen Macedonia. Mini Schengen cannot and must not be an alternative to membership in the European Union. We fully convey the reaction of VMRO-DPMNE: Macedonia belongs to the wider European family of countries and such attempts of Zaev to show a multilateral cooperation of the Balkan countries as a huge diplomatic success, is in fact a diplomatic failure to achieve the goal of EU membership. It is obvious that in addition to the failures at home, Zaev's government is facing defeat internationally. For four years he shamelessly lied to the citizens about Macedonia's European integration, looking for an alibi and culprits in others, only to end up in Mini Schengen. Macedonia has become a hostage of Zaev's crime and corruption and his irresponsible policy and as long as Zaev is in power, Macedonia has no European future. Four years of Zaev's rule are four stolen and ruined years for the citizens, it is said in the announcement from VMRO-DPMNE.
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